All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Dale W Callahan

Advisory Committee Members

Thomas C Jannett

David Pan

Gregg L Vaughn

Percy F Wang

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Engineering


This dissertation presents research and analysis specific to a well-defined methodology for a low-cost and accurate vehicle tracking system that performs within a spatially limited domain. The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) requires such a system to increase the efficiency of its bridge load-testing procedures. Currently, human operators estimate vehicle positions. As ALDOT seeks to modernize its systems, they require an accurate yet low-cost system for tracking load-testing vehicles within a spatially limited domain. This body of work presents a novel optical tracking system that makes use of the same optical navigation chip used in an optical computer mouse. Included in this dissertation are an analysis of the ALDOT problem requirements, a model for a proposed optical tracking solution, and the results of a prototype solution to the problem. Additionally, the results of the prototype solution are compared against the model’s predictions. Finally, a novel method is introduced to provide repeated calibrations to the optical system in order to increase the system’s accuracy. While the primary focus of the research presented is to meet the requirements of ALDOT, the novel methods developed here have wide applications in accurate navigation and tracking.

Included in

Engineering Commons



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